October 18, 2017

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10 INDIGENOUS MUSIC PICKS FOR YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST

10 INDIGENOUS MUSIC PICKS FOR YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST

Photo: Courtesy of RedBull

MUSKRAT’s must-add favourites for the summer (*not ranked)!

1. CREE CONFEDERATION
A regular on the Pow wow Trail since 2007, Cree Confederation kicked off the season this year with a new live recorded album from Soboba entitled Kihtawasoh Wapakwani (May 2014, Canyon Records). Check out the link to stream samples of all 15 tracks from the album:

Cree Confederation: Kihtawasoh Wapakwani (Beautiful Flower)

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2. A TRIBE CALLED RED
Juno Award winning Turtle Island favorites, A Tribe Called Red (ATCR) have been blowing up the scene for the last three years with remixes, mash-ups, and original tracks that are guaranteed to energize with pumping bass and driving rythyms. ATCR thrilled fans this spring with their latest video for Sisters f. Northern Voice from their Nation II Nation album:

3. SHIBASTIK
Despite having released three albums, and being on the scene for the past decade, Shibastik (Cree, Moose River) might just be one of the most underrated artists from Indigenous country. As an accomplished and extremely talented painter, Shibastik’s artwork includes spiritual and traditional imagery of his home territory—Moose River and its surrounding area. As an emcee, Shibastik weaves words to speak about the contrast of traditional and settler life, including the pressures facing youth, and the solace found in Cree culture and Indigenous traditions. Check out the video for his single Moose River:

4. TANYA TAGAQ
Tanya Tagaq is an Inuk throatsinger skirting in between the lines of traditional and contemporary sounds within her music. Recently she was in the news during the #Sealfie campaign, when she posted a picture of her baby next to a hunted seal, and was then attacked by animal rights activists who posted violent digitally altered pictures of her baby, as well as an onslaught of social media aggression. Tanya received major support from communities across Turtle Island, and amidst it all, finalized the work on her project Animism, which was released on May 27th by Six Shooter Records. See the stunning trailer for the album below:

5. DIGGING ROOTS
Another one of Turtle Island’s favorites from the T dot is Digging Roots, who have spent the last four years touring across Turtle Island including down into Mexico, around Europe and Australia, as well as the Canadian and Norwegian Arctic. They return this summer with an album to be released in hard copy on June 17th entitled ‘For The Light’ but available now on iTunes. Stream the title track below

6. FRANK WALN
Frank Waln (Sicangu Lakota, Rosebud Sioux Tribe x Chicago) is a young emcee from south of the settler state border whose activism and lyrical talent has gained him some significant notoriety. He got his start as a member of the hip hop duo Nake Nula Waun, and last year released a solo EP Born Ready, with the powerful single and video Oil 4 Blood. He has followed up with two singles, AbOriginal and Born on the Rez. See the video for Oil 4 Blood below:

7. DAWN AVERY
Dawn Avery is an incredibly accomplished Kanienke’haka cellist, composer, and educator. She often interfolds Kanienke’haka language and other Indigenous sounds within her music, and creates a very unique and cinematic aesthetic for listeners. Last week she released her fourth album, 50 Shades of Red. Check out the single My Heart is Strong, which along with the album, is available on iTunes:

My Heart is Strong

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8. ULALI
Ulali has had some recent changes to its members, however leading singer and musician Pura Fe (Tuscarora) is still at the helm. This spring, the Ulali Project performed this powerful song, Idle No More at the UNC Givens Performing Arts Centre in Pembroke, North Carolina for the 4th Annual River People Music & Culture Fest. The song is dedicated to the founding women of Idle No More:

9. LEONARD SUMNER
Leonard Sumner (Anishinaabe) is a multi-genre  MC/Singer-Songwriter from Little Saskatchewan First Nation. Having first hit the scene as a hip hop emcee known as Lorenzo, Leonard released a poignant singer-songwriter album last summer entitled Rez Poetry. He has toured across Turtle Island with A Tribe Called Red as well as with comedian Ryan McMahon on his Red Man Laughing tour. Check out this live studio video recording from the Red Man Laughing tour:

10. MOB BOUNCE
Straight out of Northern British Columbia and hailing from Vancouver, the talented hip hop duo Mob Bounce (Heebz the Earth Child and Craigy Craig) are known for their political and socially conscious hip hop. Their latest release, Oral Tradition, is available for free download and streaming from Soundcloud:

Let us know what your favourites are!

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